High School Preview: Three Games to Watch

By: Connor Ulrey, Assistant Sports Editor, and Nick Griesback, Staff Writer

Blackman (3-2, 1-1) at Cookeville (5-0, 2-0): We have a tale of two heavyweights in this matchup as perennial powerhouse Blackman, who are the eighth ranked team according to class 6A will be stepping into 11th ranked and undefeated Cookeville’s house Friday night.

Blackman has been a strong team traditionally, but has had tough losses coupled with a game they had to squeak out a win at. Inconsistency from their offense continues to be an issue and they still seem to be looking for more help from their quarterback play, after losing Jauan Jennings last year. Blackman has played much stronger competition this season, which will be an advantage to them in this game and further into the season.

Cookeville has been steamrolling their competition by an average of 41.8 points per game, while only allowing 15.8 points per game. Running back Vic Beasley has shredded the defenses he has faced. Totaling 1,117 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on only 90 attempts, including the 355 rushing yards and four touchdown performance that he had last week against Siegel. He’s a player that every team will have to gameplan around this season. As a team, Cookeville is second in Tennessee in rushing with 1,923 yards and have amassed 24 rushing touchdowns good for third in the state.

The strength of competition Blackman has played so far has prepared them for a showdown with another top team. If they are able to contain Cookeville’s potent rushing attack and win the battles up at the line of scrimmage they should be able to come out with a road victory and should be able to bolster their rankings.

CAK (Christian Academy of Knoxville) (5-0, 1-0) at DCA (Donelson Christian Academy) (4-1, 1-1): The Warriors travel from Knoxville to Donelson as two of the top teams in Division II square off.

The Warriors sit at 5-0 on the year, and haven’t been tested thus far into their 2015 campaign. Coming into Friday’s game, the Warriors are averaging nearly 35 points per game, and have given up 14 or fewer points in all five games.

The Wildcats host CAK Friday, and will be looking to spoil another great season for the Warriors. In 2015 thus far, the Wildcats have been dominant in the games they’ve won, with their only loss coming to undefeated Franklin Road Academy. In five contests this season, the Wildcats are averaging 32 points per game, and have scored a combined 94 in their last two games.

Cole Smith has been near perfect for the Warriors on the year, throwing for 16 touchdowns and just two interceptions in their five wins this year. The junior quarterback is averaging an astonishing 80 percent completion percentage through five games, and went 26-for-29 for 323 yards and four touchdowns in last weeks win against Roane County.

For the Wildcats, the offensive pairing of quarterback Carson Gribble and wide receiver Dajuan Buie, who connected for a pair of touchdowns in last weeks win over Kings Academy.

Look for both offenses to try to start fast Friday night as both teams have offensive prowess, but look for Smith and the Warriors to walk out with the win.

McGavock (3-2, 2-1) at John Overton (4-1, 2-1) : Rivals in Division 6A face off Friday night in Nashville as the Raiders head to Overton to take on the Bobcats.

Both teams come into this weeks contest with impressive wins thus far in the season. McGavock, though posting two losses on their schedule, has wins over Spring Hill, Lebanon, and Wilson Central. Overton’s only loss in 2015 thus far was in week one, a 16-8 defeat at the hands of Stewarts Creek. The Bobcats have won four straight, including wins over Marshall County, Franklin, and Lipscomb Academy.

The game is a big division test for both teams, with tough games on the schedule after this week. Next week the Bobcats head to Mt. Juliet, and the Raiders face off against Ravenwood.

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